East Bay businesses waiting for rescue too

October 13, 2008 6:29:52 PM PDT
Expect to see another boost tomorrow as the Treasury Department announces it will pour money into nine U.S. banks. The purpose is to keep the U.S. economy from falling into a prolonged recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 2,000 points last week. Analysts say the market was severely oversold and needed a reason to bounce back.

"The catalyst was the meetings in Washington this weekend and the world central bankers coming together with a plan," Market Watch editor David Callaway said. "Whether it works or not, at least they show they have a plan, they are going to put it in action, it renewed some confidence that the system can be saved."

That plan has European countries pumping billions of taxpayers' cash into their major banks.

The U.S. Treasury is expected to announce a similar plan tomorrow.

But small business owners are left wondering how the plan will help them.

Oakland restaurant Everett and Jones BBQ has already laid off six employees.

"I had a meeting with my staff on Friday to tell them I would be looking at doing more cuts," owner Dorothy King said.

Business is down 25 percent at the restaurant because people are cutting back.

"I definitely have," Vallejo resident Shirley Jones said. "I consider when I am buying in the grocery store also take a look at how much I spend for lunch."

About 4 percent of small businesses (90 establishments) in Oakland have called it quits this year, according to the East Bay Small Business Council.

"Particularly Oakland has a 9 percent unemployment rate and so that is about 3 percent higher than the national average, so when these small businesses are affected we actually see unemployment affected as well," Council president Darrel Carey said.

Everett and Jones was scheduled to open another restaurant at the Oakland International Airport in May but the project has been put on hold.

"That's because banks aren't doing the loans and banks are having a problem just trusting each other," Jones said.


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